Subban-Watch officially ended this evening, with the Canadiens' defensive hold-out agreeing to a new contract. After his three-year entry level deal, Subban obviously wanted to be paid what he felt he was worth, hence the several weeks of waiting for a contract to get done. The Canadiens wanted a shorter contract to make sure that Subban could live up to his "value," while Subban would have liked to have gotten a longer term deal.
All that holding out gets the Habs the term they wanted, while Subban gets a fluffy salary in his second year. The terms are for $2 million in year one of the deal and $3.75 in the second year, which is a $750,000 increase over the Habs' original $5 million total contract value that was offered in August.
Basically, Subban held out for a contract that's in the Habs' best interest. Interesting indeed. Granted, yes, it's a raise for him. He has gotten nearly 40 points in both of his full NHL seasons and turned around his +/- from a (-8) to a +9 last season. He's improving, but he's not going to get the big deal that he obviously expected was coming his way. Not after two years, not at age 23. The Habs got what they needed out of this; if he plays well, he gets his payday. It's an ok deal for Subban too because it gives himself a chance to earn that big payday that's coming his way. The holding out part of the deal probably didn't benefit Subban other than to generate buzz, but the contract certainly will be a good thing for his growth as a player as well as his future salary.
Image courtsey of HabsAddict.com
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As a Blues fan, with not one, but two young defenseman coming up on the beginning of their RFA years after this season, this contract gives me a certain amount of hope that maybe they're not going to break the bank. At least, not nearly to the extent that I had been expecting.
While Subban is clearly not Weber, the contrast between old-CBA money to a high-end young defenseman and a new-CBA contract to a young defenseman who's at least in the same ballpark points per season-wise is fairly marked. Of course, there are a whole host of reasons that the two situations aren't similar, but a fan of a cash-strapped team can dream, can't he?